Monday, 27 February 2012

Marian Price imprisoned without trial since May 2011

Since 13 May 2011 Marian Price has been in prison in Northern Ireland by order of the Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

The correspondence below, a copy of which has been sent to Queen Elizabeth 2, is self-explanatory

From: Justin Morahan []
Sent: 05 January 2012 20:01
To: SOS Paterson
Subject: TRIM: unjust imprisonment without trial

Dear Secretary of State Mr Owen Paterson

As a pacifist who has publicly opposed, written against and picketed against violence throughout "the troubles", I write to express my serious concern regarding the continuing and prolonged internment without trial of Ms Marian Price, also known by her married name of Marion McGlinchey.

I believe that there is no justification for the internment of Ms Price and that the reasons given by your office are spurious. You told the BBC that "The threat posed by her had significantly increased"

Ms Price remains uncharged in an all male prison, while her health deteriorates slowly but surely. Her re-association with prison after thirty years of freedom has for her revived horrific nightmares connected with the inhumane treatment visited on her (and others).

As you know she was subjected, while in prison on hunger strike, to the practice of force feeding for 167 days of her 200 day incarceration.

In 1980 she received the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and was freed on humanitarian grounds. Your recent decision to re-imprison her appears to fly in the face of this Royal pardon. As a result, I will be forwarding a copy of this e-mail to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

If you believe that Ms Price has committed a crime you should charge her.  Otherwise she must be released or you and your Office are, in my opinion, open to a charge of inhuman treatment of a human being.

Allow me to reiterate that I am in no way associated with Ms Price, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, or any republican paramilitary group or party.  I am totally opposed to violence from whatever quarter.  I am making this request as a human rights activist in the interests of what I believe to be fair and right and just and humane.

My hope is that you will respond in like manner.

With best personal wishes

Justin Morahan

[DATE: 9 jJanuary 2012]

Dear Mr Morahan,
Please see attached response in relation to your correspondence below.
Yours Sincerely,
Secretary of State's Private Office

"NIO Northern Ireland Office
Stormont House Avenue
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT 4 3SG Telephone: 028 90527013

Justin Morahan

Dear Mr Morahan

Ms Marion Price

Thank you for your email to the Secretary of State of 5 January 2012 in which you express concern about the continued detention of Marian Price.

Marion Price received two concurrent terms of life imprisonment in November 1993 for two convictions of causing an explosion.  She also received a determinate sentence of 20 years for conspiracy to cause an explosion.  She was released on licence on 30 April 1980 in relation to the two life sentences.  On 6 May 1980 she was awarded the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in respect of her determinate sentence only.   Life sentenced prisoners remain on licence for life and are subject to recall at any time.

Marion Price's licence was revoked following a recommendation from the Parole Commissioners that it was necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm.  It is regrettable that such action was necessary, but the Secretary of State's priority is the protection of the public. Those released on licence have a responsibility to act within the terms of their release, and where their actions show they pose a risk of harm to the public, the law provides that their licence be revoked."

[The above response was unsigned]

[date 25 January 2012]
Re:  Marion Price's continued unjust imprisonment without trial

Dear Mr Paterson

Thank you for your reply, e-mail dated 9 January 2012, to my email of 5 January 2012 with an attached scanned response which latter, though directed to me, was unsigned.

I refer to my previous e-mail and all of its contents re my concern as a human rights activist for Ms Marion Price's health, re her imprisonment without trial, re the Royal Prerogative of Mercy she received (in 1980) and also re my own lack of connection to any group with which Ms Price is or has been affiliated.

For purposes of keeping a record, I have typed and copied the unsigned response and am forwarding same to you with a pasted copy of your reply in a separate e-mail.  I also propose to forward all relevant copies to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Three points in the response give cause for concern.

1. You state that on 6 May 1980, Ms Price was awarded the Royal Prerogative for Mercy "in respect of her determinate sentence only".

I understand however that this document is not available for inspection. Her lawyers would  naturally need to be convinced that it was indeed in respect of that sentence only. 

Why should it not be available when its date is known to you?  Has this Royal document concerning the freedom of a living person been sabotaged, stolen or destroyed? If any of these has happened, it would represent a serious denial of justice to Ms Price, as her liberty depends on its contents.

Has the disappearance of this important Royal document been investigated and if so what has been the result of the investigation? If not, there remains a serious denial of Ms Price's rights to imprison her now without carrying out such an investigation.

2. You also say that her licence was revoked "following a recommendation from the Parole Commissioners that it was necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm". 

Again, such a recommendation would certainly not be made in the face of a Royal Prerogative to the contrary.  The unavailability of this important document awarding the Royal Prerogative to Ms Price is most regrettable. Its absence is a material fact pointing to an injustice perpetrated on Ms Price. 

If the Royal Prerogative  is in respect of both of her convictions, then manifestly the Parole Commissioners would have erred and would have no power to advise you to incarcerate her without trial.  Nor would you have power to act on such a recommendation. However, as the document is unavailable for inspection, these crucial factors cannot be determined, possibly in her favour. 

Besides, what "serious harm" was she threatening on the public?  If there were such, why is the public not being told, or Ms Price being charged with an offence?

The basis for the recommendation made by the Parole Commissioners is murky and far from clear.

3. You conclude that "Those released on licence have a responsibility to abide within the terms of their release, and where their actions show they pose a risk of harm to the public, the law provides that their licence be revoked."

There is no evidence adduced in a court of law, or made public by the Parole Commissioners, to suggest that Ms Price's actions posed a risk of harm to the public.  From my understanding of events, when she appeared before the court, she was released on bail, but this release was thwarted by her immediate re-arrest.
No charge has been made following this re-arrest.

The whole picture does not add up to one reflecting the impartial exercise of clear, transparent or just law.  It is a return to the horrific and unjust practice of internment without trial

Meanwhile, as I have already written, Ms Price's health deteriorates and is a cause of further concern.  The terror her new sojourn in prison has brought to mind after the horrific torture she endured by being force fed for 167 days of her 200 day hunger strike can only be imagined.  Re-imprisonment without trial in such circumstances must amount to cruel and inhumane treatment at the very least.

I urge you again on humanitarian grounds and on the grounds of justice and fair play either to bring charges against Ms Price immediately or release her forthwith.

With best personal wishes

Justin Morahan
Pacifist and Human Rights Activist
Second Reply from SOS Paterson
[Date 13 February 2012]
Dear Mr Morahan,
Please see attached response in relation to your recent correspondence to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Yours Sincerely,
Michelle Kane
Secretary of State's Private Office
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"NIO Northern Ireland Office
Stormont House Avenue
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT 4 3SG Telephone: 028 90527013

Justin Morahan

NIO Northern Ireland Office
Stormont House Avenue Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4  3SG
Tel 02890527013
Justin Morahan

Dear Mr Morahan

Ms Marion Price

Thank you for your e-mail to the Secretary of State of 22 January 2012. Please accept my apology for the omission of a signature on the response to your previous e mail.

You may already be aware that the Parole Commissioners issued a ruling on 30 January 2012 regarding the issue of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy relating to Ms McGlinchey.  Following representations from lawyers acting for Secretary of State and Ms McGlinchey, the panel concluded that Ms McGlinchey was released on licence.

The Parole Commissioners will now convene a hearing on the issue of whether Ms  McGlinchey is a risk to the public and if her licence should remain revoked.  As part of this process, the Commissioners will consider the evidence put forward by the Secretary of State for the revocation of Ms McGlinchey's licence.  Ms McGlinchey's lawyers will have the opportunity to make representations on her behalf.

Yours sincerely

[squiggle illegible]

on behalf of the Secretary of State

Saturday, 25 February 2012

George W Bush and Tony Blair legacy to Iraq

Letter to US Ambassador re Bradley Manning

Dear Ambassador Rooney

As there was no other link for a direct e-mail on general matters, I am doing two jobs with the one e-mail

1) Letting you know that there is no other way to contact you - a fault of the website

2) I am asking you to request the President to intervene in the Bradley Manning trial to have Bradley released immediately.

Whistle-blowers are an absolute necessity for a democratic and just society. They should be protected by law whenever they expose wrongdoing
Whistle-blowers who expose a war crime, as Bradley has done, should be protected and honoured by any President who believes in a just society. The link [below] shows that war crime clearly in Iraq. Bradley was a witness. Innocent people were mowed down from a United States helicopter and Bradley Manning was a witness to that war crime. He did the right thing and became a whistle-blower. President Obama must release him.

It is shameful that Bradley Manning has been tortured in prison and that the President has broken all rules of fairness by declaring Bradley guilty before his case was heard by a court.

It is also shameful and treacherous that the people of the United States have been unable to see the shocking video that can be seen everywhere else in the world.

I am requesting you to ask President Obama to do the right thing now and release this brave man.

With best personal wishes
Justin Morahan
Human rights activist and pacifist
Related Link:

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Reports that Khader Adnan has ended hunger strike on 66th day

Reports from mainstream media are that Khader Adnan has ended his 66-day hunger strike.

As of 5.33pm on 21 February however there is no specific confirmation from himself that this is so.

The Israelis have said it, his lawyers have said it but at the time mentioned, reports from reliable sources are that his lawyer has been denied access to him in prison and cannot therefore confirm his acceptance of a deal.

The deal itself was that his "administrative detention" would end on 17 April and would not be renewed.  There were of course "terms and conditions" attaching.

If the news is true, if Khader Adnan is happy with the terms, if the Israelis are true to their word and release him as stated, I am very happy that Khader's life has been spared.  Happy for Khader, happy for his wife and children, happy for all of his loved ones.

If the news is not true, then I will continue to join countless thousands of others making further representations to the Israeli Government on his behalf

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Khader Adnan Dying in Israel chained to hospital bed

As Khader Adnan entered his 59th day on hunger strike, his wife Randa has appealed to us, the international community, to end his isolation and save his life.

As he lies dying, his Israeli captors have chained him to his military prison hospital bed.

“My husband is dying inside an Israeli jail. The world should make sure I am able to see him,” Randa said. “And it should pressure the Israeli government to release him before it’s too late.”

According to Joe Catron of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Khader, a 33-year-old baker, a graduate  economics student of Birzeit University, and Islamic Jihad Movement activist, was detained in a 3:30 am raid on his home in Arraba, Jenin on December 17.

He began a hunger strike the same day to protest Israel’s administrative detention policy and the brutality of his captors, and to demand his own freedom and the freedom of thousands of other prisoners held in Israeli jails who are being deprived of their simplest human rights

"Israeli interrogators" says Catron, "responded by continuing the beatings that began during his arrest, tying him into painful positions for hours, ripping hair from his beard, smearing dirt onto his face, throwing him into a “punishment cell” with bright lights and loud noises intended to prevent sleep, and denying him treatment for his gastric illness, the disc problems in his back, and the injuries their fellow soldiers had inflicted on him. After they graphically insulted members of his family, including his two young daughters and elderly mother – a form of psychological torture used by Israeli troops to extract information from Palestinian suspects – he launched a speech strike, refusing to talk with them as well", the ISM report continues

His wife and children were allowed to see him for 15 minutes for the first time last Tuesday but by then he could barely move to greet them. 

Physicians for Human Rights have said that he has been transferred to five different hospitals over an eight day period.

A four hour vigil organised by the IPSC was held outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin yesterday.  A solidarity vigil outside Ramleh prison in Israel was met with tear gas assault and sixteen people were injured by rubber bullets

The picture shows 4 year old protesting outside Ramleh prison